Urban Studies | Wilson Center

Urban Studies

Beyond Metropolis: The Planning and Governance of Asia's Mega-Urban Regions

Beyond Metropolis studies planning and governance in the regions surrounding the twelve cities in Asia with populations over ten million: Tokyo, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dhaka, Delhi, Shanghai, Jakarta, Osaka, Beijing, Karachi, Metro Manila, and Seoul. These regions are greater than cities plus suburbs: for almost all, development has sprawled into the surrounding countryside, enveloping villages, towns, and small and medium-sized cities, creating “extended metropolitan regions.”

Popular Political Support in Urban China

Has the current political system in the People’s Republic of China lost its legitimacy in the eyes of the Chinese public? On the basis of three carefully drawn surveys of Beijing residents between 1995 and 1999, the author finds that diffuse support for the current political system—based on attitudes toward institutions and values—remains strong, at least among city-dwellers, though it is gradually declining.

Commerce in Russian Urban Culture, 1861-1914

Tsarist Russia’s commercial class is today receiving serious attention from both Russian and non-Russian historians. This book is a contribution to that literature. Commerce in Russian Urban Culture, 1861–1914 examines the relation between the entrepreneurial world, especially business and banking, and the cultural milieu of Russia. Going beyond the commercial-cultural connection of charitable activity, the contributors to this collaborative project also study cultural activity undertaken by enterprises for their own purposes, notably bank and commercial architecture.

The Breakdown of Class Politics: A Debate on Post-Industrial Stratification

Class and its linkage to politics became a controversial and exciting topic again in the 1990s. Terry Clark and Seymour Martin Lipset published “Are Social Classes Dying?” in 1991, which sparked a lively debate and much new research. The main critics of Clark and Lipset—at Oxford and Berkeley—held (initially) that class was more persistent than Clark and Lipset suggested. The positions were sharply opposed and involved several conceptual and methodological concerns. But the issues grew more nuanced as further reflections and evidence accumulated.

Asian Americans and Politics: Perspectives, Experiences, Prospects

Asian Americans have quite recently emerged as an increasingly important force in American politics. In 1996, more than 300 Asian and Pacific Americans were elected to federal, state, and local offices; today, more than 2,000 hold appointive positions in government. Asian American voices have been prominent in policy debates over such matters as education, race relations, and immigration reform.

Second Metropolis: Pragmatic Pluralism in Gilded Age Chicago, Silver Age Moscow, and Meiji Osaka

By comparing North America’s, Russia’s, and Japan’s “second cities”—Chicago, Moscow, and Osaka—Second Metropolis discloses the extent to which social fragmentation, frequently viewed as an obstacle to democratic development, actually fostered a “pragmatic pluralism” that nurtured pluralistic public policies.

Welfare Reform: A Race to the Bottom?

This timely collection presents research contributing to the ongoing debate over welfare reform in the 1990s. Some chapters argue that the law will lead states to restrict benefits out of fear of becoming “welfare magnets.” Other chapters assert that no such shift is taking place. Still others point to evidence that states are serving as “laboratories of democracy.”

The American Planning Tradition: Culture and Policy

The past half-century’s radical transformation of American cities and regions has paradoxically stimulated our interest in older forms of cities and renewed our respect for the planning tradition that created them. Today, with everything urban and public perpetually in crisis, we turn attentively toward the figures who shaped our cities and left a magnificent legacy of public spaces, public transit, public parks, public libraries, public schools, public health, and public safety.

Race, Self-Employment, and Upward Mobility: An Illusive American Dream

Race, Self-Employment, and Upward Mobility refutes conventional notions about entrepreneurship with a wealth of unimpeachable data. Timothy Bates finds that self-employment and upward mobility are open to those who are highly educated and skilled, often possessing significant personal financial resources. This is true among Asian Americans, African Americans, and everybody else, too.

Preparing for the Urban Future: Global Pressures and Local Forces

More and more of the world’s people live in urban areas, which share the same problems: unemployment, corroding infrastructure, deteriorating environment, a collapsing social compact, and weakening institutions. To ask why this is happening and what can be done, twenty-two leading social scientists and experienced public officials have pooled their experience and their research in preparation for the June 1996 United Nations conference on human settlement in Istanbul. Their collaborative effort is published in Preparing for the Urban Future: Global Pressures and Local Forces.

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